Dewsbury Rams player Joel Farrell was a revelation in Jamaica’s World Cup qualifying campaign, despite the Reggae Reggae Warriors being edged out in both their matches.
Farrell made his international debut, playing in the unaccustomed position of stand-off, in last Friday’s opening qualifying match against USA in Jacksonville.
Farrell scored a try and landed a goal as Jamaica suffered a 24-14 defeat to a USA side who reached the quarter-finals of the 2013 World Cup.
Following the clash, Farrell tweeted: “Didn’t get the result but loved going into war with my brothers! Debut for Jamaica and scored my first try too!”
Jamaica went mightily close to pulling off a huge upset as they led 18-0 in Tuesday’s second qualifier against Canada in Florida.
Farrell converted Lamont Bryan’s 21st minute try and, after Batley Bulldogs winger Alex Brown scored, the Rams man landed a penalty as Jamaica led 12-0 at half-time.
Farrell’s crossfield kick set up a 56th minute try for Batley’s Wayne Reittie, with the Dewsbury man again on target with the goal.
However, fancied Canada fought back, scoring 18 points in the final 17 minutes to snatch a dramatic draw.
Jamaica head coach Romeo Monteith was proud of his side’s efforts, saying: “There’s no shame in losing to the world number 10 by six points and drawing with the world number 12 in these qualifiers. We tried our best and I wish we could have held on at the end (against Canada) but it wasn’t to be.”
Farrell will return to the UK having gained valuable experience on the international stage and will rejoin his Dewsbury teammates in preparation for the Boxing Day derby against Batley Bulldogs when, of course, he could come up against Jamaica colleagues Reittie and Brown.